Putting our heads down and just working on nailing that shit left and right, yo.
Is it nine hundred fucking degrees outside? Fuck yeah it is. Are we still surging forward in a forty year old jump saddle a generous barn friend has let us use at will? Fuck yeah we are!
|bobby says, "can we please not do any of those things? they make me les tired."|
Between the heat, the saddle situation, and a slightly worrisome lack of level specific dressage work recently, Bobby and I have been tip-toeing more than surging forward as I attempt to keep his crazy down and he occasionally tries to do what I'm asking the first time instead of activating the crazy on his own. And really, it's been working great! It's all about the compromises, so here are some of the things we've been going through.
Situation: Five stride line. In the outdoor. In a new saddle. Haven't jumped in weeks.
|entering the line. oh lordy.|
What went down: I got Bobby into a nice, round, collected canter that's currently my comfort zone but is much too slow for any real jumping. Fortunately, while I'd raised the jumps, I only had them set to 2' (THEY LOOKED BIGGER. Like maybe 2'3".) which Bobby can walk over from a stand still so it was more a matter of getting a better canter for a better distance than getting a better canter to make it over.
But I mean obviously a better canter was needed all around.
|pulling on the left rein is kind of our thing.|
leaning is an added bonus.
I kept looping around and around from the single on one long side around to the first jump of the line on the other long side until I finally got the right pace, got myself softening my arms and hands on approach, and just letting things flow. Then we put it all together and carried on to the second fence in the line.
Compromise: We got a good distance into the first fence and on landing Bobby scooted a bit right as we'd been exiting that way promptly to avoid locking on to the second jump. I closed my outside leg and told him to go forth instead. He saw the jump and predictably got SUPER EXCITED.
But I was like, no. No racing. I sank deeper into the saddle, sat up, and left everything else unchanged. Bobby was like, "Hmmmmm.....you're saying whoa, but you're also still letting me canter forward. Perhaps....I can....just check myself?"
AND THEN HE DID AND WE HIT THAT SHIT LIKE FUCKING PROS.
Who won this one?: Both of us did. Yeah, yeah, it was only 2', but that was the first line I've jumped that was more than two strides since we crashed in January. And it was perfect, and we nailed the distances, and I didn't have to trot anything. WINNING, BITCHES.
|and also we jumped this jump which is maybe 2'6".|
it was off a long approach but i didn't pull because SO BRAVE.
Situation: Front feet need to be trimmed. It is ten million five thousand four hundred bajillion degrees out with humidity. I don't want to sweat through my breeches and tank top like a nine hundred pound man asked to run a marathon before I even get on to ride.
What I did: Pouted. Wandered around in circles directing barn children. Drank lots of water.
Compromise: Just trim the fucking feet.
Who won this round?: The hell fire that is the weather, okay? Fucking Satan won this round. #swampass
|i can't do dressage things in a jump saddle.|
i can scrunch up my shoulders in one though!
Situation: Lock Jaw Magee.
What do?: I pulled out Bobby's least favorite bit ever--the gold half moon loose ring HS. The plan was that he would hate this bit so much that he'd revert back to gnashing his teeth and gaping his mouth in it, therefore opening his jaw and seeing that that is a thing. Remember how that's a thing, Bobby?!
Compromise: Somehow bit and Bobby met in the middle and he worked his jaw around and chewed a little. So Mr HS will stay in there for now as Bobby suctions his mouth and figures out what a soft jaw is like again.
|trying in vain to make my crazy right wrist stay straight in times of stress.|
or at all times, let's not lie.
Situation: Lazy, hot, barn friend actually wants to ride in her own saddle. Bareback dressage school!
Oh for fuck's sake: Bobby was good at the walk and trot. We had to drop down to the walk a couple times to reinstall a good travers and shoulder-in, but they carried over to the trot. Good turn on the haunches to finish, nice and light all around.
At the canter, it was too much. What was too much? LIFE.
There was much running sideways and throwing of the head while I soothingly repeated to him, "It's okay, Bobby. It's okayyyyyy." And then from across the ring A finally burst out laughing and yelled, "IT'S NOT OKAY. NOTHING IS OKAY." Welcome to being friends with Bobby. If you're not being run into by him, you're laughing at him.
Compromise: A solid boot to the ribs and a longer rein made everything sort of okay. OK enough that I stopped worrying if he would run sideways right out from underneath me. Probably my sweaty ass would have kept me glued on regardless.
Did someone win there?: Mm, I don't know. I would have liked to do some counter canter, but Bobby definitely got out of that one.
|yay, more jumping!|
Overall, I surprisingly feel like we're on track for this weekend's show. We did some really good lateral work today, finally breezed through some counter canter, had a really good canter in general, and Bobby was nice and calm with the simple changes. BM told me I could borrow her dressage saddle to show in if my gullet plate doesn't arrive in time (it better), so I won't have to worry about doing two Second tests in jump tack.
Now all we have to do is not die of heat stroke by then!